PUNITIVE, EXCLUSIONARY DISCIPLINE IS COUNTERPRODUCTIVE, HARMFUL, AND UNNECESSARY

And these practices have long been disproportionately applied to Black and Brown students and students with disabilities.

WE ALL PAY THE PRICE FOR MISTREATING OUR MOST VULNERABLE KIDS

The cost — in both human and financial terms — of getting it wrong with kids with concerning behaviors is staggering. But many people aren’t even aware of the harsh, counterproductive treatment many of these kids receive. Many others are aware but, somehow, don’t see the damage being done. And still others just aren’t sure what to do instead.

Through its public awareness and advocacy efforts — including the hard-hitting, award-winning documentary film, The Kids We Lose — Lives in the Balance is shedding light on the harm caused by punitive, exclusionary disciplinary practices. Through our grassroots efforts, we help caregivers advocate for change locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. There are lots of ways for you to get involved in the effort as well.

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$120,000

Average annual cost, per child, of juvenile detention in the US

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$85 billion

Dollars spent annually on incarceration in the US

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$15,000 – $120,000

Annual cost, per child, of placement outside home school in the US

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$35 billion

 Estimated annual cost to society of punitive, exclusionary school disciplinary practices in the US

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$9,000

Approximate cost to implement Collaborative & Proactive Solutions in a school or treatment facility

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Through our public awareness campaign, we’re heightening awareness of the plight of our most vulnerable kids and the obsolete disciplinary practices that contribute to their alienation and marginalization. Through our trainings, free web-based resources, and scholarships, we are ensuring that the Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) model is readily available and accessible to those in the greatest need, especially schools with high rates of detention, suspension, expulsion, corporal punishment, restraint, seclusion, and/or disproportionality. We have already helped hundreds of schools reduce or eliminate discipline referrals, detentions, and suspensions. And we have dramatically reduced or eliminated the use of restraint and seclusion in schools, inpatient psychiatry units, and residential and juvenile detention facilities. But staff in many similar settings are still unaware of how to do things differently, and are still relying on archaic, punitive strategies that simply fuel alienation and disenfranchisement. There’s a lot more work to be done.

Lives in the Balance supports and endorses the federal Keeping All Students Safe Act.

Lives in the Balance supports and endorses the federal Protecting Our Students in School Act.

Coming Soon! Our Take Action page!

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Changing the status quo is never easy – generating momentum toward change isn’t easy, either – and we’re going to need your help to get it done. There are lots of ways for you to get involved. Learn more here.

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